Wish you had a steady stream of pre-qualified leads that are easier to convert into paying customers? This guest post from Vanhishikha comprises 20 tips to help you do just that.
You’ve built a great product with a powerful feature set. You’ve identified the value you can offer to your customers. And you know who exactly is likely to find value in what you have to offer. What’s the next step?
Reaching out to that audience and generating leads so that you can show them the value you bring to them. But lead generation for small businesses is easier said than done.
But no one said it’s impossible.
In this article, we’re sharing some of the best lead generation tactics we’ve tried and tested for small businesses.
Lead generation tips for small businesses
1. Create buyer personas
The very first step to generating more leads for your small business, is to create buyer personas. This is a definition of a person you think is an ideal customer for your products/ services. Your customer personas are a reference of the general demographics of your target audience — gender, location, age, etc. — along with other parameters like what their challenges are, what solutions you can offer to them and what their buying motivation can be.
2. Set up your business online
The product/service and its creator are mutually inclusive and can be used to promote each other effectively. Take the example of Richard Benson. The business magnate and former philanthropist is a great name in the market, and he uses that popularity to invest in his products. So, he created a website for himself as well as the business for added credibility.
Create a website, set up your social media platforms, define the perception you wish to create, and create good content consistently. However, remember to be different. Connect your content to your business.
3. Create a funnel
Create a lead-generating marketing funnel by identifying three primary points:
- When was the time the customer first became aware of your brand?
- Why are the customers considering your brand?
- Are people choosing your product as a solution to their problem?
The first question addresses the top of the funnel, while the second one is the middle of the funnel, and the last one is the bottom of the funnel. The first stage usually entails creating as much content as possible via all channels and platforms, the second one ensures customer retention using the same information, and the third one is about them choosing you as a solution to their problem. At the end of, you should have a potential lead.
4. Start networking on LinkedIn
As Mike Volpe, the former CMO of Hubspot pointed out, LinkedIn generates the highest lead conversion rate, almost 2.74%, which is almost triple than that of Twitter and Facebook at 0.69% and 0.77%, respectively. If you’re not sure of how to use LinkedIn or don’t have the time to actively network and engage with your connections, leverage automation with tools like Scrab.in.
To learn more tips and tricks of using LinkedIn for lead generation, don’t forget to read this article.
5. Create targeted content
Relevance is of utmost importance. When you are done creating buyer personas, you have to ensure you know their problems and what solutions you can offer, so that they turn into customers. Create targeted content that is high on quality and relevance and stands apart from the crowd. Your content should be such that your readers are compelled to share it, thus generating more leads.
6. Use videos to promote your offering
Do you know there are over 2 billion monthly active users on YouTube? This only goes to say how a typical internet user chooses to consume information in video formats over other tactics. Video marketing helps generate and distribute traffic, and also helps you establish a direct connection with your customers. Video marketing offers several benefits, including educating your customers about your product, making them aware of the company culture, and much more.
7. Leverage traditional media
Yes, digital media captures the vein of marketing in today’s times. But, you should never underestimate how useful traditional media can be. While you work wonders on the digital front, make sure that you set aside certain resources to publicize your product in traditional media as well. A local newspaper that is widely circulated or even a known magazine can be a good start. However, the trick is to be creative with the ads. And do not forget to add your contact details at the end of it.
8. Match your content to your buyer journey
Once you have your funnel ready, start matching your content to the buyer’s journey with your business. For instance, someone who has just discovered your products/services, is more likely to engage with information and not a discount. On the flip side, someone who has done their research on you, is ready to convert and all they need is a little discount. The closer your content is to what concerns a consumer may have, the higher are the chances of them engaging, converting and sharing it.
9. Go keyword specific
Many think that the more keywords they use, the better would be their reach on digital channels. False. The best way to ensure you reach the right audience is to focus on the right set of keywords. This means you should always start with keywords that are relevant to what you offer. Leading more traffic might seem appealing at first, but not seeing them convert is of no good.
Here are some tips we share with small businesses:
- Keep your keywords relevant to your product/ service
- If you’re a local business, focus on localised keywords first
- Identify how customers search for products/ services similar to yours
- Tap into the power of long tail keywords/ query keywords
- Always use a mix of high-volume and mid-volume keywords
10. Give free content
The one way to win trust is to give without expecting anything in return. This is one of the most underused lead generation hacks for small businesses. Make your content accessible, without forms or conditions. Give away something for free — like a 10-minute consultation, audit report or something that gets you talking with a prospect. The more you educate your readers, the more leads you will be generating.
11. Pay-per-click advertising
More than 60% of sales cycles start from the search engine. Running pay per click advertising can help you tap into this purchase behaviour. This is a great lead generation tactic for small businesses, especially if you are looking forward to growing quickly. Pay-per-click advertising ensures that your brand appears on the top of the searches for the specific keywords you’ve mentioned. More visibility means more leads.
12. Influencer engaging
Industry influencers are not always competitors. Creating connections with them can actually turn out to be a fruitful decision for your business. Identify them on social media and start a conversation with them. Incentivize your content and push it through their handles. They have a connection with their followers which can be used to effectively generate leads for your business.
13. Multichannel marketing
We already told you that traditional media is as important as digital media. Multichannel marketing is the best way to ensure lead generation and growth for your business. This is because if you are present on every medium, you cover the entire spectrum where your readers and buyers may be present. So, whether they read mails, or watch videos, or prefer to read, you’ve got all the channels covered. Some of the most promising channels today are email, SMS and Facebook Messenger.
14. Create content upgrades
More often than not the visitors to your site would not convert simply because they’re still in the very early stages of the sales cycle. To know who’s genuinely interested in knowing more about your products/ services, create content upgrades. Offer usable checklists or offer 1-on-1 conversations/ consultations in lieu of more information from your customers that’ll allow you to know which of the leads is a high priority to follow or is more likely to convert.
15. Be social
Man is a social animal. This is one of the first lessons in Economics that we are taught in schools. The best way to be social now is to be on social media. For your multimedia marketing to work like a charm, you need to be active on all social media platforms and be consistent in marketing your content and your product. If possible, post on every platform every day.
Also, use a different tone for each platform. Every social media platform has a different mechanism and it caters to a separate interactive need of the user. Identify it and use relevant language, even if you wish to convey the same message. Additionally, be interactive on social media. Don’t just post, engage with those who interact with you.
16. Cold Email marketing
Make use of cold email marketing, but be aware of not spamming. Create concise and crisp emailers with clever content, and send one email a week to introduce yourself and your business, and how it can add value to the recipient. Make sure it doesn’t look like a sales pitch, but an attempt to strike a conversation. Remember to not overwhelm your readers, or they will not think twice before hitting the unsubscribe button.
17. Outbound content
Create content that may not expressly mention your brand, yet educates your readers about the product. Separate education and promotion, or subtly mix the two. However, never go overboard with promotion. Readers can absorb unlimited knowledge, but unrestrained promotional activities are a big turn off. Establish yourself as an expert as you educate. And use external channels or websites to share that knowledge on. This will help you tap into a pre-existing audience.
18. Use customer testimonials
63% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a site that displays reviews. This is because while brands have a selfish reason to promote themselves, customers give an honest review after experiencing the service or using the product. Use your past leads’ and customers’ experience to create further leads.
19. Ace your call-to-action
No matter what tactic you put in place to generate leads for your small business, remember your call-to-action needs to be clear. This means that it should be easy for your audience to understand what you want them to do next. It should also be easily visible to them as well!
Remember to not always push for a hard conversion. Experiment with your call to action so that you don’t look too pushy. The idea is to get your audience to engage with you.
20. A/B testing
And the one thing that is critical for your success in lead generation — A/B testing. Remember, consumer needs and market trends change every day. So, a strategy that might work today, may be redundant tomorrow and only cost you resources with no or low ROI. Always continue to A/B test your strategies, messaging, target audience and remember to take note of how it impacts your growth.
Stop thinking, start doing
From worrying about how good they look, overthinking what their audience wants to hear to continually re-assessing their readiness, most small businesses hesitate in starting promotional campaigns.
We believe that there’s a market for every business. No matter how big the number of competitors in your market may be.
So go out there and start promoting your business actively. That’s the only way to know what works and what doesn’t.
Vanhishikha Bhargava is a Content Marketer at FindThatLead, a growth hacking solution that enables businesses to growth hack lead generation and their sales with smart automations and more.